How Khun Mae had trained herself for walking meditation:
Khun Mae had spent 5 years during her initial years as a nun staying in caves, forests and cemetries. During the very beginning, she had thought she could attain calm through sitting meditation alone. However sometimes, during the beginning, she found a lot of thoughts arise during seated meditation. One day when climbing up a hill, she found she was exhausted.
As always, she had always used very uncompromising methods on herself. During the beginning when she ordain, she literally had nothing- no pillow or mattress or soft surfaces to lie down on. She only had a piece of cut wood as a pillow. At first she did not have an almsround and had went to a temple to request if a monk could just give her a container that she could use for almsround.
She went through all this with determination and endurance because she told herself that she had given up so much from her laylife (a good thriving business) and her family …..she did not give them all up to just go an practice half-heartedly. It is either all or nothing. Therefore she always pushed herself to the maximum.
That day in the uphill climb as her body grew tired…she is not going to advise herself to rest. She force her legs to move even though her legs felt they could not move anymore. From 7am to 4am she climbed the hill.
After 6 hours of continuous walking, her heart calmed down. She said that walking meditation is important as part of practice.
How to perform walking meditation
Note: The method of walking meditation may vary from one place to another as well as depending on the individual practitioner’s temperament.
When performing walking meditation, always begin with the right foot forward. The ball of the foot step down first, followed by the ball of the foot.
Proceed in a natural manner (do not tense the body). Do your best to relax using breath. If body is not fully relaxed, one may find the body swaying or not walking in a straight line.
Place one foot down- lift the other foot only after the first foot is completely down. Use the breath to control one’s movement. During the beginning, one may choose to go a bit slow until one’s heart is attuned and able to control the movements naturally. Then one can go a little faster.
Again, always remember to breathe or else one’s body may start swaying or not walking in a straight line. When one feels tired, stand still.
When one start to practice walking meditation, one may feel the body heavy. After a while of practice, the body would relax.
For the photos below, we expressed our gratitude to the monks who allow to be photographed during their practice:
Transference of merits after walking meditation:
Look at the Buddha’s face and make aspiration- may the merits protect my family and be shared with my ancestors. May they rejoice in the merits and be well and happy.
To my kammic debtors, please forgive me for my wrongdoings and accept these merits. Now I am ordained/ observing the precepts- I sincerely wish to share the merits with you.
May you be happy (repeat 3 times).
Invite the power of the Buddha to spread out his light to help those who are in need.
You may also include other beings in your transference of merits.